Philosophy Professor Peter Boghossian resigned from Portland State University on September 8, citing an "intolerance of divergent beliefs and opinions." In his letter of resignation, he said students at the Oregon public university "are not being taught to think. Rather, they are being trained to mimic the moral certainty of ideologies."

'A Social Justice factory'

Boghossian also said the university had become "a Social Justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender, and victimhood and whose only outputs were grievance and division." The professor also described harassment from colleagues and students.

He noted that he had taught at the university for ten years but did not have tenure. The letter has been published online by former New York Times writer Bari Weisss.

The professor recalled encountering "retaliation" after he had expressed doubts about trigger warnings, safe spaces, cultural appropriation, and the importance of racial consciousness. He said that he had come to see "illiberalism" as "an institution-wide problem" at the university.

In his letter, Boghossian recounted the following examples of harassment that he had experienced at Portland State University:

  • Swastikas were scrawled on his office door, “in one instance accompanied by bags of feces.”
  • A discussion which the professor was having with author Christina Hoff Sommers and evolutionary biologists Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying was disrupted by a tenured faculty member.

  • A panel discussion which Boghossian was having with James Damore, a one-time Google engineer, was interrupted when someone tore out wires from the speaker.

  • Someone turned on a fire alarm as the professor was having a discussion with cultural critic Carl Benjamin.

  • Boghossian was investigated by the university for alleged discrimination on the basis of sex and, although investigators found “insufficient evidence” of wrongdoing on his part, the professor was told to “receive coaching.”

Oregon Association of Scholars calls for investigation

Hours after Boghossian's resignation was announced, the Oregon Association of Scholars called for the Portland State University Board of Trustees to investigate the events leading up to the professor's decision to quit.

Dr. Bruce Gilley, president of the association, called upon the trustees "to hold to account all faculty and staff whose abuse of their positions of power forced Professor Boghossian into this difficult decision." More information about the association's reaction to the resignation can be found at oregonscholars.org.

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Indifference from 'liberal media'

Boghossian's departure from Portland State University has been covered by the New York Post, Newsmax, and the Daily Mail. In a Tweet directed at NPR, Rachel Maddow, and MSNBC, he said: “conservative media” had shown great interest in his resignation while “liberal media” had been indifferent.

“I’ve been deluged with requests to appear on conservative media regarding my resignation from PSU. And yet, I don’t consider myself a conservative. I’ve received zero requests for interviews with liberal media,” he said.

Boghossian co-authored the 2019 book "How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide" with James Lindsay. Boghossian also published "Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism" in 2007 and "A Manual for Creating Atheists" in 2014.

He also wrote a foreword to the 2015 book "How to Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist" by John W. Loftus.

Boghossian appears in videos posted on YouTube. One shows him delivering a 2019 speech before the National Liberal Club of London. "There is an army of social justice fanatics, most of whom are either hiding behind keyboards or holding academic positions. They will try to silence and prevent discourse," he told his audience in London.